The Blog that's not always wrong.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Positive signs at Spurs.

Spot the Musings correspondent in the pub
 after our latest game.
The JimmyG2 Column.
 I had intended to stop taking the positives from games where we didn't do as well as I expected or as we deserved. It has a whiff of a losers mentality and has a tolerance of failure built in.

However with a poor to mediocre start to the season we don't have much alternative. Two points from eight beckons the way we are going but on the plus side Harry is unemployed at the moment.

So let's take the positives: we should have least got a point from the opener at Old Trafford. We played very well for the first twenty minutes and woke up for the last ten. We also gifted them the only goal and scored it ourselves.

An easy victory threatened in the first home game against Stoke until the game was all but over but then Toby blundered and both centre backs went  AWOLand not for the first time in the game.

Positives Jimmy, positives. Against Leicester we controlled the game pretty well and Dele Alli put us ahead. We will have to forget the next minute or so in our search for positivity. So LDD could easily have been DWD yielding five points rather than two.

No-one other than Man. City have come bursting out of the traps and five points would have put us on the fringes of top four. We have new players coming in possibly in areas where we are deficient and Rose, Eriksen and Pritchard returning from injures.

Mauricio will soon realise the error of his ways and give up the Dier experiment. Another youngster has been bloodied and is on the scoresheet. The new stadium is making progress and we have the best training facility bar few.

The results against Utd. and Stoke were an improvement on last year and against Lericester we took ther wind out of the sails of one of the front runners away from home.

You will realise that by now I am getting a little desperate. This positive thinking gig is giving me a headache. Just moan and slag all and sundry off Jim; it's a lot easier. Nope it's too early in the season.

Musings New Season Resolution is to look on the bright side until at least  the 10 game mark is passed. Then we might just call for a few of the appropriate parts of the anatomy of the usual suspects.

We lack creativity and invention in the attack and pace all over the pitch but these could be attended to by the end of the window. We are leaving things late once again but our previous excursion into early purchase did not work out well.

But this was not because these were early bird bargains but because we were flush with cash and chose players without any Premiership experience. Not one of the Magnificent Seven boasted Premiership credentials.

I can't keep track of the rumours of players coming or going or wishing they were coming or going, or denying that they are coming or going so on Musings we tend to wait until they happen and then claim we knew it all along.

Allowing the transfer window to overlap the start of the season is a nonsense and I agree with JJ who says it's too long anyway. Sort it someone.

Anyway I'm on holiday in sunny,so far, Bridlington in a house with intermittent wi-fi so if you get this it will be the sort of good fortune Spurs could do with against Everton who have twice as many points so far as we have.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
No rumours here. Clinton N'Jie signed sealed and delivered. Seems like a nice boy.Young skilled fast and looks as if he enjoys his football. Usual you-tube warning. If he settles he could  be another positive. 

Monday, 17 August 2015

Blame game at White Hart Lane

It's usually the man behind the grassy knoll.
The JimmyG2 Column. 
Just when you thought it was safe to stop worrying about conceding late goals after last season then up pop Stoke with a couple to level a match we had threatened to run away with. Blame fatigue if you like.

But their goal was coming as we defended poorly deeper and deeper. Our Choice  Belgian selection box had afforded Diouf  several chances to score and he eventually did so with the merest of touches. Clearly someone at fault there.

Toby blotted his copybook with an unnecessary foul in the goal line corner of the box even if it was a soft decision. Don't tackle in the box if you don't need to. Write it out a  100 times Simpsons' style Mr. Elderweired.

So 2-0 up with less than fifteen minutes to go but under pressure from an increasingly dominant Stoke for whom substitutions made the difference. Not that you can say the same for ours.That's you Mauricio

Harry, suffering from fatigue not injury insists Pochettino, was withdrawn on the hour. Not a good sign two matches in but it threw all our plans into reverse. Mauricio outhought by hard man Hughes. Whatever next.

Mason too a central figure in the game gave his all until he too succumbed. We needed a revamp not just the usual suspects sending on. Walker had needed some help with Arnautevic for some time and pushing him into midfield and bringing on Trippier might have worked.

 Dele Alli might have been a better choice than Lamela but who wouldn't. I hear you, I hear you. Whatever I might suggest it couldn't have gone worse than what actually happened. The finger of suspicion hovers above the Head Coach

But are we down hearted? Well yes a little. Any team with pretensions to success in whatever terms should be able to close out a game  after a dominant first half and a two goal lead.

But the signs were there and although Butland made several good early saves Lloris made saves from Diouf  headers he should have had no chance with. The tide was turning in Stoke's favour as the match wore on.

In the first half we played some joined up football but we don't seem to manage more than a half at a time. Dier  deftly or luckily scored from an Erikson corner. Then Davies with a determined run and cross under pressure found Chadli who scored on the stroke of half time.

Game over you might have thought but not so. With Eriksen fading and determined play from Stoke and Mason and Kane beginning to struggle it was up to Mauricio to re-write the script.

Dembele saw plenty of the ball but did little with it. Harry showed more sides to his game once more  but the lack of a replacement striker in the nightmare scenario of him getting injured, or worn out is a real indictment of the management.

So who to blame for our poor start. Marketing no doubt encouraged by DL must take some of the credit for a poorly organised pre-season. Two matches gone and no ready prepared balanced squad. DL step forward.

Just bad luck? Not according to Jimmy's Rules to Live By. There is always somebody to blame. The next rule is 'It wasn't me'. Levy then for not supplying the ammunition and Mauricio for wasting the ammunition he had.

But we lost more heavily to Man.Utd last year and lost twice to Stoke. New signings are arriving, some deadwood has been cleared, the new Stadium is progressing. Poor start, move on.

Perhaps, but remember those that don't learn the lessons of the mistakes of the past are doomed to repeat them. 

Roberto Soldado.
 We feel your pain Roberto.

 A classy footballer with a top class attitude, his farewell and thanks to the club and the fans was quite moving. Compare and contrast Roberto Soldado and Emmanuel Adebayor.

Possibly one the best players not to have made it at Spurs. Inexplicable really as he had plenty of skills, clearly a football brain and good touch but at the crucial moments that goal instinct which he exhibited elsewhere completely deserted him.

Was it the club, the new environment, the Premiership,his personal life affecting his confidence? None or all of the above I can't really explain it. Good luck Soldier boy I will follow your career with interest.

Credit is due both to the player and the fans that loved him here. It must be something about strikers because we had the same attitude to the 'uckin run about a bit' Pavlyuchenko. Shows our tender side just needs to be tapped into.

Jimmy's Video Spot:
The rot sets in at 1 minute 40 secs. Lovely ball from Harry for Davies who does very well. Spurs rampant but it didn't last. I love the foreign commentaries because the video doesn't get taken down so quickly.

Monday, 10 August 2015

One down 37 to go.

 This Tottenham Girl knows:
From here the only way is up.
The JimmyG2 Column.

They say the table doesn't lie. Leicester are top*; Arsenal are bottom* and we're already out of the relegation places. So what's not to like with only 37 games to go. (*Well they were until Man.City and W.Brom played)

A hectic fortnight, a long long way in every sense from Mauricio's plan for keeping the squad together at home for some intensive tactical and fitness work. Three different continents no less. Showing the flag and building the brand clearly a priority.

Not of the Head Coach but of them upstairs. Still, Real Madrid; AC Milan and Manchester United all in a week is some itinerary. Played 3; W 1; D 0; L 2. For 2; Against 3. Thanks Mr.Audi for giving us another glimpse of our true destiny.

But we lost the one that really matters however well we played against Milan who are not the team they once were. Nor are Man.Utd. and like last year a game we could have won. Last year we gave them a head start and never recovered.

This year we roared out of the blocks and for 20 minutes visions of  everything coming together flashed before our eyes. Harry and Christian combined delightfully but Christian put to much on the lob.

Then Harry shot when he should have passed to the unmarked Chadli in front of goal and that was it. Bentaleb carelessly gave the ball away for the second time in a week and we were punished once again.

Rooney lingered on the ball and Kyle Walker scored neatly into the corner on his way back from an urgent appointment elsewhere. Other than that the threat of Trippier forced him into a decent performance particularly defensively against Young.

Shades of Danny Rose who was absent injured, and the arrival of Davies. Toby and Jan had a decent outing together and while Van never does more than he has to Toby Alderweireld shone in a lacklustre performance.

We woke up with ten minutes to go and might have at least equalised in a period of pressure. Neither team mustered much in the way of chances for most of the game and pedestrian is the word that comes to mind.

Harry is accused of being greedy but most strikers are. It's part of their skill set. But he can be forgiven as so far he has been given the job without any support whatsoever.

We once neglected to replace Berbatov, part exchanging him for Frazier Campbell. Reminds me of the time I traded 20 books of Green Shield Stamps for a mini compressor. I never used it and left it in the car when I sold it.

I should have got the toaster as advised by 'her indoors' (RIP George Cole) who by coincidence was name called in his Arthur Daley guise in our headline last week. Patience, patience I haven't forgotten the match as much I'd like to.

Levy will obviously have learned his lesson won't he? As it seems that neither Adebayor nor Roberto will ever play for us again and the youngsters are not quite ready a 'marquee' signing is imminent. Get the big tent ready guys.

Mauricio persevered with Dier in midfield but though he broke up play occasionally he hasn't the vision that we need there. Mauricio is clearly seeing something that I'm missing.

Mason was an improvement on Bentaleb; Dembele was his usual plodding self and emphasizes our lack of pace in attack. Lamela was the same as always with plenty of effort but no end result. Dele Alli at least got on.

There were plenty of positives for Mauricio to take from the first 20 minutes, pace and positivity for starters and attitude but that's barely a quarter of a game and how quickly it faded.

And we've seen the dramatic last ten minutes of pressure before. We need to respond to going a goal down immediately and consistently and not go into a sulk until it's too late.

So what we want is a striker or two preferably with pace to support the boy Kane. When do we want them? Last week would have been good, time for them to acclimatise.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
All Harry Kane's goals 2014/15. This boy is seriously good but he can't do it all on his own. Or can he? No he can't you sound like Daniel Levy. I don't think Harry will suffer second season syndrome unless he burns out before Xmas.

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Spurs excitement mounts : Fire up the Quatro.

Audi Cup Line-up. Who let that cockerel in?
The JimmyG2 Column.
 America! It's a long way to go for a pre-season friendly. Just ask Cristopher Columbus. Though I dare say we've been a lot further. At least the game against Real Madrid or Spurs Old Boys as they are known on the Musings is closer to home.

I kid you not, Real Madrid in the prestigious (it says here) Audi Cup, no nor have I. Only a week to go before we take on Man.Utd in the prestigious Premier League. That one rings a bell. I'm so Spurs centred that I seem to have missed it.

It's bi-annual and started in 2009 to celebrate Audi's 100 yrs of production. Bayern, the hosts, have won it twice; Barcelona once in their only appearance. Bayern were runners up that year and the Manchesters have been runners up too. Prestigious indeed.

So now we are all up to speed on that one. Four teams compete by invitation and Spurs game against Real is on Tuesday at  17:15 on Premier Sports but I am expecting streams to be available. Try FSI free football streaming

The Wiki intro to this yea's tournament raised a hollow laugh
The competition will host the 2009 Audi Cup winners Bayern Munich, the 2014 UEFA Champions league winners Real Madrid, 18-time Italian champions Milan, and 8-time FA Cup and two times UEFA cup winners Tottenham Hotspur, of North London.

They dug deep for that. Nothing except a League Cup win in the last couple of decades and no mention of Bayern's impressive recent league wins. But then it's only Germany, World Cup winners four times the last as recently as 2014.

But I'm delighted we've been invited, just can't work out exactly why. Unless it's to allow Real to run the rule over Harry, Hugo and Christian. Part of the erstwhile special relationship, or did that get binned while I wasn't looking.

But as far as the game against MLS All Stars goes was it worth the trip? Well Harry scored and could have got several. No signs of the second album/season problem. His goal was the most difficult of his chances.

Rose is confirmed as first choice left back and Trippier will challenge and soon for the right back position. More crosses than Highgate cemetery. Dier struggled manfully in midfield and is perhaps worth another look in the event that we don't sign a 'marquee' specialist.

None of the youngsters look quite ready yet to act as back up to Harry and the big tent will need another  photo session. Alderweirald wasn't entirely convincing in his first pairing with Vertonghen
but time will tell. 

However against an established team in their mid season and at altitude we still should have won on our second half performance where once again it was the boys that stepped up. Onomah should have scored following a slick passing move between Kane, Carroll and Alli.

Back home, Adebayor may or not be going to Aston Villa: Soldado may or not be going to Villareal. Kaboul, Capoue, Paulinho and Vlad have definitely gone and one or two others of the so-called dead wood. So the Bonfire of the Vanities has at least been lit.

Winks, Carroll and especially Dele Alli caught the eye but only the last named is likely to be retained for the match squad. I hope I'm wrong on that because a decision definitely needs to be made soon on Carroll.

I have hopes for Coulthirst, and there's Pritchard and Velkjovic absent on other duties and some of the youngsters who played in Australia. Mostly these will go out on loan. Not forgetting Mason who is sadly injured once again.

Pre-season has been a bit of a mish mash and who knows what went on behind closed doors. Manchester Unted next week will be a doddle after Real and if we beat them Mauricio can claim an astute build up.

Mcgee and Velkjovic who might yet be in my All Academy squad are both only 20 but both look older than Brad. Milos had a 100% passing accuracy in his only appearance against Limassol in the Europa but was only on for 4 minutes. But it's a start.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
What was Chadli doing for the first? Mis-control and a mishit shot  neatly turned in by Villa for the second. Their keeper kept them in it early on. A good work out as they say. Plenty of positives for Mauricio to ponder.


 My Predictions for the season: As submitted to the Topspurs 'Vox Pop' 

Another season already, already? And so the Tottenham treadmill keeps on turning, grinding players managers and fans to dust. Remarkably I find myself more optimistic and cheerful than I was last year and on re-reading last years I find that I was more optimistic last season than the season before. What the hell is wrong with me.

Mainly because of Harry Kane and the Academy Boys and the fact that there are even more poised to make the breakthrough. My dream of an all Academy squad in the next few years is still on track.
Oh delusion then if you insist.

We might mislay Andros along the way but as long as Lloris stays until McGee is ready all is well. Otherwise the fortuitous collision of a talented Academy squad, a settled manager in his second season who favours youth, and a Chairman who guards Spurs money as if it was his own produces a uniquely positive scenario.

I'm making Eriksen, our only true creative, and Lamela, the most likely to become one, honoury Academicians for the interim as they are only young. I'm backing Harry Kane to top 20 Premiership goals.

We punched above our weight last season and bettered my prediction of 6th. so all is set up for the same again this season, another top six finish for the eighth time in a decade. We probably won't make the CL but I would like to see us do better in the UEFA.

I'm assuming that Liverpool will continue in their quest to be the new Tottenham and leave us in poll position to be the best of the rest. In the likely event that Brenden gets the sack, which would be very Spursy, all bets are off.

Let's hear it for the boys, and I do mean boys for they it was that stepped up last season: Kane, Bentaleb, Rose, and Mason when all about them experienced old pros, Adebayor, Soldado, Vlad, Paulinho amongst others were falling apart.

Proud of them and looking forward to Pritchard, Alli, Carroll, Winks and others joining them. Against Sydney FC we had 9 Academy boys on the pitch at some stage and not one of them failed to make their mark.

They all go the extra pitch length for the club and with their commitment and loyalty they give back more than they take out which more than makes up for what they lack in experience or even skill.
Bentaleb or Paulinho: Harry Kane or Adebayor: you choose. Magnificent Seven? Halfhearted Two And a Half more like.

So that's 5th again and Harry to score 20 in the Premiership. The one might be dependent on the other unless we sign someone, or better promote someone, to help him out.

 Come on Mauricio break the mould of the tedious search for foreign Premiership unready stars: you know you want to. And Daniel will back you to the hilt on this one.

Two columns for the price of one! You lucky people. Are you getting excited yet?